Code­share with Air Van­u­atu

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Air Ni­ug­ini has started di­rect flights be­tween Port Moresby and Townsville. The air­line’s chair­man, Sir Fred­er­ick Rei­her, says the new flights, which started on March 31, will ben­e­fit both Pa­pua New Guinea and Townsville in many ways – in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion, busi­ness, agri­cul­ture, freight and sports.

He says the ser­vice will also help over 5000 Pa­pua New Guineans in the PNG com­mu­nity in and around Townsville to re­unite with their fam­i­lies back home.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity for for­mer PNG cit­i­zens and res­i­dents who now live in Townsville to visit PNG, re­unite with fam­ily and friends, and per­haps look at op­por­tu­ni­ties in the small-busi­ness sec­tor.

“There are also strong links al­ready in sport, es­pe­cially rugby league, but also be­tween our church groups, schools, health and other com­mu­nity groups. It will also ben­e­fit Townsville and re­gional Queens­land rugby league teams play­ing in the In­trust cup, as well as our own PNG SP Hunters. PNG has many fans of the North Queens­land Cow­boys who will now find it eas­ier to travel and watch the home games. This di­rect ser­vice will re­duce travel time and costs for them,” Sir Fred­er­ick says.

“This ser­vice will also as­sist or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Youth With A Mis­sion ( YWAM) with the up­lift of their vol­un­teers, med­i­cal and other sup­plies in and out of Townsville, en­abling them to con­tinue and ex­pand the splen­did work they are do­ing in PNG to help peo­ple in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.”

Sir Fred­er­ick has urged North Queens­lan­ders to take ad­van­tage of the new flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion pack­ages to ex­plore the many attractions in PNG.

The Port Moresby/ Townsville di­rect ser­vices op­er­ate ev­ery Mon­day and Fri­day, de­part­ing Port Moresby at 9:55am and ar­riv­ing in Townsville at 11:45am. The re­turn flight de­parts Townsville at 12:30pm and ar­rives in Port Moresby at 2:20pm. ■

NRL leg­end re­veals what he loves about Townsville, see page 20. Air Ni­ug­ini and Air Van­u­atu have im­ple­mented a code­share agree­ment that will in­crease traf­fic be­tween the two na­tions and be­yond. The first flight un­der the ar­range­ment op­er­ated on March 28.

Air Ni­ug­ini chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Si­mon Foo, says the code­share ben­e­fits pas­sen­gers from both coun­tries be­cause it in­tro­duces com­pe­ti­tion be­tween air­lines to sell seats on their air­craft.

“The code­share agree­ment also al­lows pas­sen­gers in both mar­kets to make seam­less con­nec­tions, and to have a wider choice through fares and tick­ets than cur­rently avail­able.

“Cus­tomers from both air­lines will con­tinue to en­joy the choice of sched­ule, com­fort, fre­quent-flyer pro­grams and ac­cess to the lounge.”

Air Van­u­atu’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Joseph Laloyer, also wel­comed the code­share ser­vices.

“Part of our strate­gic plan­ning is build­ing re­la­tion­ships with other car­ri­ers that en­able Air Van­u­atu to tap in to new mar­kets and thus bring more traf­fic to Van­u­atu,” he says.

Air Ni­ug­ini is op­er­at­ing a Boe­ing 737 air­craft for this ser­vice. It op­er­ates twice weekly, ev­ery Tues­day and Thurs­day, to Port Vila via Ho­niara, and re­turns the next day (Wed­nes­day and Fri­day).

In a code­share agree­ment, both air­lines par­tic­i­pate in sell­ing seats on an air­craft, one as an op­er­at­ing car­rier and the other as the mar­ket­ing car­rier.

Un­der this ar­range­ment, Air Ni­ug­ini is the op­er­at­ing car­rier and Air Van­u­atu, as the mar­ket­ing car­rier, is able to place its ‘NF’ code on all Air Ni­ug­ini flights op­er­at­ing be­tween Port Moresby and Port Vila. This in­cludes the in­ter­me­di­ate sec­tor be­tween Ho­niara, Solomon Is­lands and Port Vila.

Apart from Air Van­u­atu, Air Ni­ug­ini also has code­share agree­ments with Qan­tas of Aus­tralia and Solomon Air­lines. ■

VIP oc­ca­sion (from right) Air Ni­ug­ini chair­man, Sir Fred­er­ick Rei­her; PNG’s prime min­is­ter, Peter O’Neill; the mayor of Townsville, Jenny Hill, in Townsville for the first flight.

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